Kevin Pilley puts his body on the line to explore Las Vegas’ iconic, and notorious, Heart Attack Grill.
Cardiac arrest and pulmonary thrombosis were on the menu. Blocked arteries were the house speciality. There was no dessert trolley. Only a hospital gurney.
My table was booked for 7.30 and when I arrived a nurse with deep cleavage asked me to step on a set of scales. She quirked her mouth and shook her highlights. “I’m afraid you’ll have to pay. Anyone over 350 pounds is comped.”
Las Vegas’s controversial anti-health food Heart Attack Grill opened in 2005 and still offers its unique take on “nutritional pornography”. The original restaurant was in Chandler, Arizona but the business relocated after a staff member allegedly keeled off with a fatal infarction.
“What can I get you to make you comfortable?” my nurse purred, handing me a bib that resembled a surgical gown. I was also shackled with a hospital identity wrist strap as she announced my “beverage options”.
“We’ve got some good Mexican-bottled Coke made out of way too much one hundred percent refined sugar; some really cool high sugar-content sodas; and some really fattening malt liquor. Our butterfat shakes are popular.”
A young man leant over and recommended something highly caffeinated. “The high fructose sweetener will keep you buzzin’, man.”
The next table was sharing an Octuple Bypass Burger. “This is one big health scare,” laughed a very large man. “Every mouthful is a life shortener, you know.” He raised his bad-for-you beer can at me. “All-American life support!”
Not fancying the Penicillin Jello Shot, I asked about wine. The waitress looked down at me. “Fat Bastard do?”
She handed me the menu and told me everything came with all-you-can-eat Flatliner Fries, cooked in the best and purest lard.
“Our famous Quadruple Bypass Burger is 1,000 calories. That’s the most calorific burger in the world,” said the nurse. She was right, the Guinness people had been in and confirmed it. “It’s gourmet junk food. You get four half-pound beef patties, twenty strips of expertly undrained extra greasy bacon, and eight slices of high milk fat American style cheese. You also get a whole tomato and half an onion.”
She raised her eyebrows in challenge. I didn’t want her suffering a hernia bringing it to me so I had a ‘Single Bypass’ instead. When it arrived, instead of “Bon Appetite”, all I got was an empathic belch from the next table.
I got through it, just, using up a bizarre amount of napkins to get rid of the cloying killer grease in the process. Snubbing the whips afterwards, I relaxed with a candy cigarette.
“They’re banned in Ireland and Finland, aint they?” asked my next door neighbour. I shrugged, not having the energy to do anything else. “How’s your colon feeling?”
With a supreme effort, I blew out my cheeks. I paid and the waitress with the cleavage pointed out the window. “Your taxi’s here”. I looked. It was an ambulance. It’s parked outside all the time.
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